Day Two at the Hispanic Retail 360 Summit did not disappoint. The crowd of 800+ came ready to learn, ready to engage and ready to make meaningful connections. Honestly, there were too many things trending today, but we hope we captured some of the most interesting highlights!
1. Self-Esteem, Self-Respect, Self-Worth
Screen legend Edward James Olmos kicked off the day with one of the most inspiring and most relevant speeches we have heard in a long time. His overall message is that we need to shift the conversation away from “race”. According to Olmos, “There is only one race – the human race.” Brands have the opportunity to change this dialogue now more than ever. And when brands change the dialogue to that of uniting and building “self-esteem, self-respect, and self-worth”, then Latinos will reward those authentic efforts with unabashed loyalty. EJO has been sharing this message for some time now but quite possibly, the stars are aligning for marketers to finally hear it. One can hope.
2. Test Ideas with Latinos First
Gus Razzetti and Esteban Ribero from Lapiz, the Latino arm of Leo Burnett, voiced what I know many Latino agencies, ourselves included, have been saying for years: Test ideas with Latinos first! The recommendation stemmed from their popular #LatinoShop study and supported the theory that “Latinos are Leading Retail Trends.” This is true enough and for many marketers, so hard to believe. However, the numbers are proving the point out over and over again – ie. Latino technology adoption, social media usage, retail research, showrooming, etc. These trends coupled with the cost efficiencies of targeting this group should have marketers banging down the doors to run test programs with this desirable consumer. Seriously, so many learnings to be had for a fraction of the cost of most general market pilots.
3. Social Cause Marketing Connects
As Jose shared in yesterday’s presentation regarding the leverage points for Latino Millennials, cause marketing connects. Dorothy Jones, Vice President of Marketing, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, along with Evelyn Homs Medero, Sr. Director, Multicultural Business Development, ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital drove this point home. Both organizations are global leaders in their respective fields and both recognize impact engaging Latinos now will have on their organizations’ futures. Brand partners can and do play a critical role in these efforts and moving forward serve as a strong backdrop for Latino Millennials to get involved.
4. Private Labels Soar
Representatives from Teasdale Quality Foods, Inc., and Save Mart Supermarkets opened many people’s eyes to the power private label brands now hold. We have been tracking this trend ourselves since 2009 in our own Mercury Mambo Latino Shopper & Retailer studies and today’s presentation confirmed that private labels are driving retail growth in surprising ways. Private label brands are growing 3x faster in the Hispanic market than in the general market, with the Mexican food category driving overall store growth. As a result of this tremendous growth, quality has improved ten fold as in the case of black beans. A key thing to remember is that only quality trumps price and brand loyalty for Latinos. And now that Private Labels have mastered quality, national brands beware.
5. “Ha Ha” is not the same as “Ja Ja”
Industry veteran Rochelle Newman-Carrasco led a highly energized work session today on the differences in humor between cultures. Physical humor, humor bantering and political correct boundaries are all slightly a skew when interpreting it from a Latino point of view. However both cultures can agree on the benefits humor can bring. For brands, humor has long been an avenue into the Latino heart and we hope it will continue to be.
While today seemed action-packed, Friday promises to be just as informative. So stand by for more to come!